SBC and church sing same hymn

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This week’s front page story about Scottish churches trying to help cut the number of young homeless Borderers, could easily have been written to paint Scottish Borders Council in a poor light as having to rely on outside help to tackle this worrying problem.

Yet that would have been unfair. For the initiative between the Scottish Churches Housing Action (SCHA) and the local authority is truly a joint effort aimed at helping some of the most vulnerable people in Borders society.

It is highly worrying that an area with such a small population as the Borders last year saw more than 200 people aged under 25 approach the council for help because they were homeless.

But it is also reassuring to know that the last few years have seen the SCHA and the council working together, with the result that the Borders is now to pilot the scheme which sees an appeal to local people with a spare room to consider giving lodging to a young person in need.

The reasons behind someone’s homelessness can be many and varied.

And many of those affected – last year 45 were aged just 16 or 17 – are too old to remain in care, but perhaps too young to live on their own.

So being able to join a family household, not only gives them a vital roof over their heads, but also provides the much-needed support and safety that too often the rest of us take for granted.